What a week. What a frenzy. To keep up that level of excitement… just how do they do it?
I’m, of course, referring to the collective paroxysm that a troublingly large percentage of North Americans indulged in as their response to immigration policies on the U.S. border that led to children being held separately from their parents.
It was over-the-top and often disconnected from reality. And yet I’m sure many of them wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Was anyone interested in the facts? Did anyone tearing their hair out bother to Google “zero-tolerance policy” and figure out what it was that they were so irate about?
(Here’s a primer: The new policy meant that everyone crossing illegally into the U.S. was going to face a federal misdemeanour charge of illegal entry. This hasn’t always been the case. There are many times people have illegally entered and not been charged, even when they’ve been caught by border agents. U.S. President Donald Trump, however, made it clear he wanted to aggressively tackle illegal immigration. The side effect of this new policy is what led to family separation, where children would be housed separately from their families. This is because if you’re just being detained awaiting an asylum hearing — as was more often the case prior to the new policy — families stick together because you’re simply awaiting a procedural hearing. But if you’re arrested and criminally charged, you’re separated from your family. Trump’s subsequent executive order revised this policy.)
We’ve reached a point in political discourse right now, though, where I’m not so sure those are even the right questions. There are many lengthy articles and columns newly released that unpack the finer points of U.S. immigration policy and the government’s longstanding border problems. There’s also a lot of reporting out there that pours water over pretty much every element of the knee-jerk one-liner that Trump orchestrated a policy to tear nursing babies away from their mothers and place them in cages.
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